From name-dropping Mahatma Gandhi to Fatima Meer, Tarina Patel has never been shy to show off her and her husband’s wealth and their supposed ties to revered icons in both South Africa and India.
Patel is no stranger to the spotlight. The actress is well known in Bollywood movies, however, lately her name is less associated with her career but rather her husband Iqbal Sharma’s relations with the Guptas.
Last week the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) seized more than R47 million’s worth of Gupta-linked assets – among them a luxury Sandton mansion valued at R12 million belonging to Sharma. The businessman is reportedly a key associate to the Gupta family. Their home was featured on axed lifestyle show Top Billing.
Patel took presenter Jonathan Lee Boyton on the house tour, in which she identified certain valuable movable assets and furniture. This willingness to show off their wealth has come in handy for the NPA, who noted these items in their seizure of the couple’s assets.
Big claims about Sharma’s clout
In a 2012 interview on the Times of India website, Patel certainly didn’t hesitate to mention her husband’s ties to influential people in government and South Africa’s history after a brawl during which her husband was allegedly assaulted by a Bollywood actor Saif Ali Khan.
Her response to a question about what happened before the brawl included a mention that Sharma “comes from the biggest political family in South Africa”, and that “he is Fatima Meer’s nephew”.
She even managed to link him to the revered Mahatma Gandhi, and mentioned that Sharma’s uncle and late former president Nelson Mandela were “best friends”.
How all this related to the assault was unclear, but she also stressed that Sharma had been “negotiating trade on behalf of South Africa with India for the last ten years”, and that he was a pivotal part of South Africa’s trade relations with India.
So who is Tarina Patel?
She was born in Cape Town and raised in Durban. It is unclear how old Patel is but she was raised Hindu and academically, she went to India to study medicine.
Patel was cast on season two of Real Housewives of Johannesburg, considered to be classy, elegant, and boasting a love for finer things.
Rarely getting into any of the drama, viewers got a glimpse of her busy life as an actress, producer, model, and businesswoman. Mzansi Magic has not confirmed if she will return for season three, but M-Net announced in March, the filming of the reality show was paused due to a physical altercation between two women.
Actress and a model
Patel has appeared in numerous films such as Akshay Kumar”s and horror-comedy Bhool Bhulaiyaa. She made her film debut in 2006, One Night With The King alongside Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole. She also made an appearance on Generations: The Legacy in 2015, playing Karishma Sharma, a trophy wife who has become used to the finer things in life.
The storyline followed how Karishma’s life comes crumbling down after her wealthy husband’s empire dramatic downfall, as she attempts to polish her tarnished image. At the time Patel said she joined Generations as a brand because it “surpasses” herself or “any other actor on it”. This was when 16 actors on the soapie were fired.
As a model, she has worked with numerous fashion brands locally and abroad. Most notably for Burberry in 2010 for a campaign in India and on the cover of Elle magazine in 2013.
Husband Iqbal Sharma
Patel and Sharma have been together for over 10 years. They married in 2009, Patel has posted her husband a couple of times on Instagram. The businessman’s Instagram account however isn’t as active, he hasn’t posted since January of this year.
The couple wed in Cape Town, in a Hindu-Muslim ceremony, attended by family, friends and celebrities, Buzz South Africa reported.
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